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The Dizzy Limit (or Girl in the Net)

Updated: Mar 7, 2022

Dizzy Limit. Illusion. Dizzy Limit (also known as the Girl in the Net, and possibly Venus does the vanishing trick) was another of Jasper’s mainstay illusions. It was invented by Oswald Williams and first presented by him at St. George’s Hall in 1922. Williams probably oversaw the manufacture of the prop used by Maskelyne. Jasper describes the effect in White Magic. “My assistant, a girl, … climbed into a strong hammock that was swung about eight feet away from the sides and back-cloth of the stage, and about five feet up from the boards. I had formerly held up the hammock so that the audience could see that it was transparent, and that there was no trickery about it. The girl sat up in the hammock, adjusted her hair, and called to the audience, to show that she was real … Then I fired a revolver at her, the hammock collapsed, the check wrapper floated down to the floor and the girl vanished, though her scream was heard simultaneously with the report of my pistol.” Often, the girl’s dress would be left behind. Jasper published a statement in The Stage on 9 May 1935 that he had purchased this trick and that proceedings would be undertaken against any person using it without his permission. The illusion was a favourite of Jasper and admired by his fellow magicians. As a teenager, David Nixon (who would become Britain’s leading T.V. magician in the 1960s and 70s) watched Jasper perform it many times but couldn’t see how it was done. “It sent prickles up the back of my neck!,” he later said.⁠ Nixon rated the illusion so highly that, in later life, he secured the performing rights and used it to close the first episode of his David Nixon’s Magic Box T.V. series. In 1954, Dizzy Limit inspired a smaller handheld version, known as the Bengal Net, commonly used to vanish doves or other small items. It was developed by U.S. magic dealer and inventor U. F. Grant (a descendant of General U. S. Grant, the 18th President of the United States of America).

Here's a video of David Nixon performing a version of Dizzy Limit, with a twist, on his Magic Box T.V. show.

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